Recipe for Moulded Sago Pudding [Gula Melaka]

People either love sago or hate it, but even the most reluctant person with memories of “nursery food” will agree that when served like this, with coconut milk and palm honey, it is a dessert that finishes off a hot, spicy meal to perfection.

Sago Pudding | AsianSupper

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Serves 6-8

  • 2.5 litres (5 pints/10 cups) water
  • 300 g (10 oz) sago
  • 2 tablespoons fresh milk
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz) palm honey or 250 g (8 oz) palm sugar (gula melaka)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) coconut milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Bring the water to a rolling boil and slowly add the sago. Boil uncovered for 7-10 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the pan tightly and let it sit for 10 minutes. The grains of sago should be clear at the end of this time, otherwise leave for a while longer. Run cold water into the pan, stir well and pour the sago into a sieve, shaking the sieve so the water runs out. Pour the sago into a bowl and stir in the milk. This takes away the grey colour that makes sago unappetizing. Pour into a serving dish or individual dishes and refrigerate.


If you cannot find palm honey, chop the palm sugar into small pieces and heat gently with 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water. When dissolved, strain through a fine sieve (a tea strainer is ideal) to remove any impurities. Stir the salt into the coconut milk to bring out the flavor. Serve the sago pudding with the palm honey or palm sugar syrup and coconut milk at room temperature-chilling will solidify the fat.

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